Look like you’re high or drunk in every picture you’ve ever had? Then this article is for you. Eye bags and dark circles are things that are definitely going to decrease your attractiveness to the opposite sex. Potential mates want someone that radiates vitality and energy: the exact opposite concept that eye bags and dark circles seem to convey.
Looking sick, tired and unhealthy will definitely decrease your sexual marketplace value. Luckily there’s plenty of things you can do to get a jump on this stuff, and you should because the eye area is the first part of your face that will start to show signs of aging. Let’s start with the causes.
The best way to fix eye bags and dark circles is to focus on mewing, sleep, diet, hydration, eye serum, concealer and retinol. More invasive options include eye fillers, microneedling, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), fat grafting and infraorbital rim implants.
What Causes Bags/Circles Under the Eyes?
The cause of droopy eyelids and dark circles is multifactorial. There’s basically a slew of things you need to keep up on, the most important of which is hydration.
- Let’s start with what is probably everyone’s first guess: genetics. I could stop right here because this is the main and number one cause. If your parents or grandparents have thin skin on their lower eyelids or droopy eyelids, then you’re probably going to get it too. There’s simply no getting around this, but you have options available to you.
- Lack of midface support. Mouthbreathing over time will lead to your undereye area tissues being pushed forward instead of staying inside your skull.
- The older we get, the more our eyes sag as well. You just won’t see older people without drooping eyelids (normally). The ligaments and muscles that hold the fat together under our eyelids start to weaken, creating sagging. In addition, the skin gets thinner with age, and we lose some of the collagen and fat underneath it, making bags and circles much more prominent.
- If you didn’t get enough sleep at night, people can usually tell the next day by looking at your eye area. Not getting enough sleep prevents your body from draining excess fluid, such as from around your eye area. In addition, the blood vessels under your skin dilate, making them more visible to the outside world and increasing your dark circles.
- When you do get enough sleep, sleep on your back. If you sleep on your stomach, the fluid will pool up in your eyes instead of draining.
- By that same token, eating too much salt will cause your body to retain too much water, leading to droopy eyelids. Salt is dehydrating, and your body compensates for it by retaining more water than it normally would.
- If you’re a smoker you need to quit. Smoking is a direct cause of saggy skin; it reduces elasticity and helps break down collagen. The smoke from the cigarette will dehydrate your skin and cause it to swell more than it normally would. Smokers also get less sleep per night than non-smokers because nicotine disrupts your normal sleeping pattern.
- The sun also destroys collagen and reduces elasticity. Consider wearing sunglasses or at least applying sunscreen on a sunny day.
- Alcohol dehydrates the body, so as is the common theme of this article, you’re going to get fluid buildup under your eyelids if you drink too much. This is why people can tell when you just went on a bender. Keep it to a minimum.
- Anything else that could possibly cause swelling or dehydration should be avoided.
How to Fix Eye Bags and Dark Circles for Men?
Mewing takes years of dedicated and consistent dedication to get results, but it’s the ultimate way to prevent you from getting these undereye bags to begin with. In the attractive eye area the eyeball rests within the skull instead of being pushed outwards from years of mouthbreathing. Mewing will narrow your orbital area and tighten up your eyes.
Get your sleep handled. Draining the fluid under your eyelids is your number one priority to not make your droopy eyelids look worse. Get at least 8 hours of sleep, possibly more if your body needs it. For example, I’m a tall dude, and I need my sleep. I try to get 10.
Diet and Hydration
Diet and hydration are key. If you’re dehydrated, your eye area isn’t going to look great. If you’re missing vitamins or getting too much salt, your eye area will suffer as well. Men should get 2.5 liters of water a day, and even more if they’re active. Go ahead and actually measure it. If you live off fruit juices, alcohol or pop you might not be getting enough. Keep caffeine to a minimum.
You want to avoid the diuretic effect from drinking too much caffeine and also not be kept awake so that you actually get some sleep.
Try natural ingredients. Cucumbers and cold green tea bags can help reduce the appearance of puffy eyelids and dark circles. The ascorbic acid and caffeic acid will help reduce water retention. In addition, the cold will help constrict the blood vessels under the skin, making the blood vessels less prominent. Some people use coffee bags too since the caffeine helps move the blood around and drain the fluid.
Skincare and Eye Serums
Stay on top of your skincare. Do not let the sun touch your eyelids. If you already exfoliate, cleanse and moisturize, then consider purchasing an eye serum.
While a moisturizer definitely helps, these eye serums are meant to tackle the problems that you see with the eyelids. The Vitamin C, peptides, and retinol in the eye serum help increase collagen production and thicken the skin. The serums also have moisturizers that help prevent fluid retention and improve fluid drainage from the eyes. Retinols will also increase the thickness of the skin. The downside is that these serums might take about 6 months to see optimal results.
If you’re comfortable enough in your masculinity, you can use concealer to cover the skin over your eyelids. Other than seeing a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, this is the only solution that will actually hide your dark circles. While it won’t necessarily get eye bags to go away it will basically eliminate dark circles. Girls do this all the time, so get one to go to the store with you and pick the right shade for you.
Retinol increases collagen turnover. Over time, this will lead to an appearance of thicker skin and hide the wrinkles/veins that are in your thin eyelid skin.
Get a prescription for Tretinoin cream (0.025%). Or, start off with a weaker over the counter retinoid cream. Start applying it 3 days a week, then every other day, then every day. After that, you can build up to higher and higher concentrations until you get to 0.1% tretinoin cream. Your face will burn and be dry if you put on too much too fast. Expect it to happen.
Take Care of Medical Issues.
Keep your allergies well controlled. Histamine causes fluid to pool up under the eyelids and inflame blood vessels. I have bad year-round allergies and control mine with Zyrtec, Allegra, and Flonase.
Get a full physical or check up if the onset of your eye area issues are sudden and brand new. Low iron levels, for example, can cause dark circles. If you have other symptoms that go along with your dark eyes, it might be a fixable medical issue.
Eye fillers can produce good results in the eye area but can be expensive. They only last 6 to 18 months and cost anywhere from 250 to 700 dollars. However, the results often speak for themselves. If you have dark circles, these are pretty effective because they block the visibility of the blood vessels underneath, and of course they smooth out wrinkles by filling the undereye area with volume.
Normally, hyaluronic acid is used, which is found naturally in the body anyway. But it’s more than a filler, as it actually stimulates the production of collagen by pushing on native fibroblasts.
Microneedling creates tiny little puncture wounds in the skin, creating little micro injuries. Blood rushes to these injuries and product absorption is increased by 3000% because you have a direct channel to the dermis and don’t have to wait for the product to absorb. After it heals, the skin produces more collagen. As you can imagine, this is great for under eye bags and dark circles both because you’re increasing circulation in that area and because the skin is literally getting thicker. Check out this girl’s story of how she used microneedling to cure her under eye bags.
This isn’t a permanent solution and microneedling definitely hurts, which means you might have to apply topical lidocaine. In addition, the skin on top of your eyes is already thin, so you don’t want to go to deep and you don’t want to poison yourself with lidocaine either. My recommendation is to go a dermatologist or plastic surgeon that specializes in microneedling and ask them to perform this procedure for your eye bags. Otherwise, you can try buying a microneedling kit on Amazon and using the shortest needle length (0.25 mm).
Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Blepharoplasty can be done on the upper or lower eyelids, and costs at least 3000 dollars (not counting the anesthesia and other fees). Incisions are made in the natural creases of the eyelids, just below the eyelashes in the lower eyelid. This makes the scars largely invisible after they heal. The surgeon will determine what to make out by looking at your bone structure, underlying musculature, and other wrinkles and symmetry of your eyebrows.
Your surgeon then marks where skin and/or fat pads are going to be removed from. Sometimes underlying muscle is also removed. These things can be removed via surgical scissors, lasers, and other tools. Suture or glue are then used to seal the eyelid back up. Sometimes the surgeon finishes with a laser procedure to resurface your skin and minimizing any other wrinkles.
After the surgery, your eye area will usually be bruised and inflamed. You’ll apply ice packs for the first 48 hours to keep swelling down, and the pain isn’t usually severe enough to need prescription painkillers, though you’ll probably just be given NSAIDs or Tylenol. However, my suggestion is to actually opt for fat grafting instead of blepharoplasty because the results look more natural and are longer lasting. Too many patients report post-blepharoplasty hollowness for me to consider getting this procedure.
Never want to worry about eye bags again? Then get ready for the full nuclear option: orbital fat grafting. In this procedure, small amounts of your own fat from the thigh or problem areas such as the stomach are slowly injected into your undereye area (at a rate of 0.1 mm at a time). Because there are spaces between the fat layers, you actually grow new blood vessels in that area.
This procedure lasts for years, unlike fillers. However, it requires a very experienced and meticulous surgeon. If the fat isn’t placed optimally, your body will suck it up like a normal filler and you’ll have to go in again. Or, if too much fat is placed, you’ll look puffy. However, it’s normal to look puffy for even a couple months until the swelling dies down and you achieve your true results.
If you look for a surgeon, it’s extremely important to look at as many before/after photos as you can, especially ones 6 months down the line to see how well the fat grafts have taken hold.
Infraorbital Rim Implants
While this doesn’t directly fix droopy eyelids or dark circles, this surgery can definitely help out your eye area. In a healthy face, the cheek actually extends beyond the iris in what is called a positive vector. In a face where the midface has dropped due to mouth breathing, the cheek is actually behind the iris in what is called a negative vector. This means your eye area doesn’t have any support and will begin to droop. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you later in life, make sure you start mewing religiously.
Infraorbital rim implants are basically a kind of “midface augmentation”. The surgeon takes an allograft (artificial material used for implants) and adjusts it to your specific face. The underlying skeletal support of the eye is improved, and the midface soft tissues are lifted. While this won’t make the skin on your lower eyelids any thicker, it really improves the eye area and works well with a blepharoplasty. The results speak for themselves:
However, keep in mind that even when done well, the results can look unnatural or spooky and you might have to go back into the operating room later on, as with any plastic surgery. Consider fillers, fat grafts, or less invasive options to take care of your eye area before you opt for this route.
Before you consider getting any kind of surgery, consider handling your eye area with other solutions. Realize that most people, including models, have skin folds or thin skin on their lower eyelid, and that that’s in fact pretty normal, especially the lower your body fat. Some incredibly pretty faces have eye circles i.e. James Dean, Nick Bateman, Mila Kunis, Phoebe Tonkin, etc. Their eye bags are just being hidden by makeup or photoshop. Ask your family, friends, or significant other if you really need surgery or even fillers.
If your eye area isn’t that bad, try some more holistic approaches first: reduce your salt intake, sleep more and on your back, stay hydrated, try eye serums, etc. Add in microneedling if you really want to be aggressive.
If your inferior eye area is genetic and your family reunions look like an episode of the walking dead, then consider seeing a dermatologist and possibly getting fillers or fat grafting. That or using concealer is going to be your most effective tool for managing eye area issues.
You should be mewing constantly to prevent loss of the midface bones that support your eyes. And no matter what you pick, stay consistent with your usage of sunscreen. Your eye area is the first to age, take good care of it. There’s no real downside to using an eye serum with SPF, no matter what route you chose to take.